Hi, friend! If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, odds are you’re either:
- feeling a bit discouraged as a new photographer
- a photographer looking to transition to wedding photography
Whichever you identify as, I just want to say how AMAZING you are doing in your journey. Reading a blog and putting in time to research how to reach your goals is a huge step! I want to let you in on how I booked my first wedding (as a photographer with ZERO wedding experience) as a little motivation.
What I’m about to tell you, though, might surprise you. I did not second shoot weddings or even attend any styled shoots before I booked my first wedding. BUT, bare with me, friend. I am telling you this to show that you don’t need to follow the paths of other photographers, because that can actually be super discouraging. This is your sign to follow your own path. So what worked for me (outlined below), might not work for you. But I believe in you – YOU can book your first wedding. I just know it.
How I Booked My First Wedding
1. Started photographing everyone I could
My friends, family, co-workers, etc. Anyone that I could think of, I was asking them if I could take some shots of them.
2. Created a business account on Instagram
Every session I had, I shared the photos LOUDLY on my Instagram. Getting my work out there was so important for potential clients to see.
3. Confidently labeled myself as a Couples & Wedding Photographer
Yep. I hadn’t even shot a single wedding and I was calling myself a Couples and Wedding Photographer. Fake it til you make it, babe. I believed in myself wholeheartedly; I knew others would believe in me, too.
4. Shared my goals on social media
If I could have, I would’ve shouted it from the rooftops what I wanted to pursue. But instead, I didn’t leave any room for question on social media. I let my audience know what I wanted to shoot weddings AND wanted to travel for my clients.
5. Researched & shared everything for free
You read that right. I was consuming so much information from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, blog posts, etc. Everything I learned, I shared it. This helped build my credibility. Even though I still hadn’t shot a wedding, people trusted me.
6. Posted my availability & offers/promos
I asked my audience what they wanted from me. I kept them posted when I had openings or if I was offering any promotions.
7. Offered mini sessions
My mini sessions were 20-30 minutes each, geared specifically to couples. Even though I didn’t do any styled shoots, I wanted to build a strong portfolio featuring the beautiful couples who first believed in me.
8. I was honest
Once I started getting inquiries, I told them right up front that I was new, but passionate and confident in my skills as a photographer to photograph their day. I showed off my portfolio and spoke confidently about my abilities. I quit my 9-5 job before having ever shot a wedding – THAT is how confident I was in myself.
These 8 steps allowed me to be able to book over 10 weddings within my first year (with ZERO wedding experience). My friend, I want you to know that you can honestly do anything you set your mind to. Work hard for it; it truly will pay off. My journey wasn’t easy, but my passion was so much stronger than any challenge that was thrown my way.
You are so capable of incredible things, babe. Get after it.
Come hang out with me on IG if you’re looking for more tips on becoming a wedding photographer @morganelizabethphoto.